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Have shootings gone up since the death penalty was abolished?

Forty people have been shot in Baltimore City, 16 fatally, within the span of 10 days — and summer is just beginning ("Deadly summer," June 30).

Maybe it is just me, but doesn't it seem that the shootings have escalated since the death penalty was abolished? The criminals have nothing to be afraid of anymore.

If those committing these crimes die, oh well. If those committing these crimes get caught and live, what do they have to look forward to? They receive three meals a day, medical and dental care and a roof over their heads, all free.

Some also take advantage of getting an education while in prison. Not bad for someone who may have killed someone's spouse, child, grandchild or sibling.

It seems that the numbers have gone up now that there is no death penalty. What have criminals got to lose? While in jail a murder can be committed against a guard or another inmate. What have they got to lose? Their life is not on the line anymore.

So do not tell me that the death penalty was not a deterrent. If the death penalty made even one person think twice before pulling the trigger, that was a life saved.

JoAnn Parrish, Glen Burnie

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